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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Burka-style hospital gowns help patients cover up

Head-to-toe hospital gowns will be offered to patients whose culture or religion requires more modest clothing than the traditional, drafty design, two British hospitals announced Tuesday.

A staff member at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals in northwestern England designed the full-length gowns.

"I noticed a gap in the market and thought that it would be great if there was a gown that helped to preserve a patient's modesty," said Karen Jacob, linen services manager for the hospital's trust foundation, which designed the product.

The trust runs two hospitals, the Royal Preston, and the Chorley and South Ribble, where the gowns will be available starting Nov. 1.

The feedback from patients has been positive, said Jacob, and other hospitals have said they want to stock the Inter-Faith gown.

Muslim women can adjust the gown to show their faces or only the eyeline, she added.

Other manufacturers are designing longer hospital gowns with privacy in mind, while also eliminating steel snaps that interfere with X-ray or MRI machines.

Associated Press

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